Smoking in cars is to be made illegal from October if there is an under 18 also in the vehicle.
The new rules will come into force on 1 October 2015 and people failing to comply could face a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: “Three million children are exposed to secondhand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk. We know that many of them feel embarrassed or frightened to ask adults to stop smoking which is why the regulations are an important step in protecting children from the harms of secondhand smoke.”
“Public Health England will launch its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers that secondhand smoke in homes and cars can cause to children’s health. PHE will also be running a campaign later in the year to raise awareness of the new legislation.”
“The regulations will become part of the existing smoke free laws and would make it an offence to smoke or to fail to prevent smoking in a private vehicle with someone under the age of 18 present.”
The ban will not apply to anyone driving alone or whilst driving in a convertible car with the top completely down.
The definition of smoking is set out in Section 1(2) of the Health Act 2006:
- “smoking” refers to smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance; and
- smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.